Bestselling author John Sandford takes all the action and suspense of his acclaimed Prey novels and heads west to the dark gleam of L.A.--where the Night Crew works. A mobile unit of video freelancers, they prowl the midnight streets to sell to the highest network bidder. Murders. Robberies. High-speed chases. For them, it is an exhilerating life. But tonight, two deaths will change everything.
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August 13, 2002
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Excerpt from The Night Crew by John Sandford
The corner of Gayley and Le Conte, at the edge of the campus:
Frat boys cruised in their impeccably clean racing-green Miatas and cherry-red Camaro ragtops, with their impeccably blonde dates, all square shoulders, frothy dresses and big white teeth.
Two skinny kids, one of each sex, smelling of three-day sweat and dressed all in black, unwrapped Ding-Dongs and talked loud about Jesus and the Joy to Come; celebrating Him -- and vanilla-creme filling.
At the Shell station, a tanker truck pumped Premium down a hole in the concrete pad, under the eye of a big-bellied driver.
And above them all, a quarter-million miles out, a buttery new moon smiled down as it slid toward the Pacific.
The Bee was impatient, checking her watch, bouncing on her toes. She was waiting at the corner, a JanSport backpack at her feet. Her face was a pale crescent in the headlights of passing cars, in the Los Angeles never-dark.
The Shell tanker driver stood in a puddle of gasoline fumes, chewed a toothpick and watched her in a casual, looking-at-women way. The Bee was dressed by Banana Republic, in khaki wash pants, a t-shirt with a queen bee on the chest, a photographer's vest with fifteen pockets, hiking boots and a preppy black-silk ski mask rolled up and worn as a watch cap.
When she saw the truck with the dish on the roof, she pulled the mask down over her face, picked up the backpack, and stepped out to the curb. The Bee had small opaque-green eyes, like turquoise thumbtacks on the black mask.
Anna Batory, riding without her seatbelt, her feet braced on the truck's plastic dashboard, saw the Bee step out to the curb and pointed: "There she is."
Creek grunted and eased the truck to the curb. Anna rolled down the passenger-side window and spoke to the mask: "You're the Bee?"
"You're late," the Bee snapped.